Gee-Gees battle crosstown rival Ravens Friday in Capital Hoops Classic

Gee-Gees battle crosstown rival Ravens Friday in Capital Hoops Classic

BURLINGTON, Ont. - With just a handful of games remaining in the regular season, more than just bragging rights are on the line Friday night when the uOttawa Gee-Gees take on the crosstown rival Carleton Ravens at the Canadian Tire Centre in the 11th annual Capital Hoops Classic.

The women's game is scheduled to tipoff at 6:00 p.m., followed by the men's game at approximately 8:00 p.m.  Student tickets are available at various locations across the uOttawa and Carleton campuses, while tickets for the general public are available through the Canadian Tire Centre Website.

If you can't make it to the Canadian Tire Centre, fans can catch all the action streaming live on OUA.tv.

The Gee-Gees women will be out for revenge this year as it was the Ravens that hoisted the hardware last year, ending uOttawa's four game winning streak over Carleton in the process. 

In the Ravens 73-50 victory, Carleton centre Heather Lindsay (Ottawa, Ont.) was unstoppable, recording a double-double with a game high 18 points and 15 rebounds.  Overall, the Ravens controlled the glass at both ends of the court, outrebounding uOttawa 62-32.  Gee-Gees guard Julia Soriano (Toronto, Ont.) countered with a team-high 14 points in the loss.

Lindsay, a fourth-year environmental studies major, has established herself as one of the most dominant players in OUA and leads the conference, averaging 11.1 rebounds per game.  Playing for her hometown Ravens, Lindsay also ranks in the top five with 16.0 points per game.

The No. 5 nationally ranked Ravens extended their winning streak over the Gee-Gees to two games earlier this year when Carleton soared into Montpetit Hall on the campus of the University of Ottawa and handed the home team a 57-50 loss. 

To add insult to injury, it was former Gee-Gees standout Catherine Traer (Chelsea, Que.) who inflicted the majority of the damage as she had a game high 20 points in her return.  Traer, who spent four seasons at uOttawa and transferred to Carleton prior to the start of the season to complete her MA in Political Science, is averaging 15.4 points per game, which ranks her seventh in the conference.

Now in her fourth year with uOttawa, Gee-Gees guard Sarah Besselink (Kingston, Ont.) is coming into her own as she leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.2 points per game.  The Kingston, Ont. native also leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game    

In just her first season in garnet and grey, uOttawa guard Amelie Hachey (Drummondville, Que.) has been a pleasant surprise for head coach Andy Sparks.  This season, Hachey ranks second on the team behind Besselink with 8.2 points per game.

The Ravens women enter Friday's Capital Hoops Classic with a 6-3 series record against the rival Gee-Gees dating back to 2008.

On the men's side, the No. 3 ranked Gee-Gees and No. 1 Ravens meet Friday in what could be a potential Wilson Cup finals preview.

In last year's Capital Hoops Classic, the Gee-Gees snapped a nine-year drought against their rivals in the annual game and will look to make it two in a row on Friday night.  Former Gee-Gee Mike L'Africain had a game high 23 points in the win for a shorthanded uOttawa squad that was missing 2016 OUA Defensive Player of the Year Caleb Agada (Burlington, Ont.).

For the Ravens, four Carleton players scored in double-digits led by guard Kaza Kajami-Keane (Ajax, Ont.) and former Carleton standout Guillaume Payen Boucard who both recorded 19 points.

Friday will be a chance for the Gee-Gees to avenge a humbling 81-40 loss on their home court less than a month ago to the rival Ravens. Carleton forward Connor Wood (Guelph, Ont.) had a game high 19 points for Carleton, while Gee-Gees guard Brandon Robinson (Montreal, Que.) countered with a team high 15 points in the loss. 

In his fifth and final season with the Ravens, Wood shows no signs of slowing down as the Guelph, Ont. native leads the league, averaging 29.6 points per 40 minutes.  One reason for Wood's success this season has been his consistent ability to shoot the three, knocking them down at a rate of 51.7 percent this season.

Like Catherine Traer on the women's side, Gee-Gees forward Jean-Emmanuel Pierre-Charles (Ottawa, Ont.) also finds himself in a different colour since he last suited up in the Capital Hoops Classic.  Starting all 14 games this season for the Gee-Gees, Pierre-Charles, who transferred to uOttawa from Carleton last year, is averaging 15.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game.

Carleton also has the advantage overall in the men's series with an 8-2 record all-time in the Capital Hoops Classic against uOttawa.

Prior to the game, Carleton fans are encouraged to show their school spirit at the Ravens' Pep Rally in Alumni Hall from 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.  Fans will have the chance to make signs, have their face painted as well as purchase Ravens merchandise ahead of the big game.

Across town, face paint will be applied at a pre-event hosted by the Gee-Gees Stampede club at the University Centre starting at 2:00 p.m.

Transportation from both uOttawa and Carleton will be available for students looking to attend the game.  For more information on transit, visit goravens.ca or geegees.ca

Fans are reminded that the Canadian Tire Centre has strict no bags and no re-entry policies.  As well, those fans who are visibly intoxicated will not be granted admission to the venue.

Since its debut in 2006, the Capital Hoops Classic has generated the highest recorded attendance figures in the history of U SPORTS basketball. The inaugural game, which featured only a men's match-up, attracted 9,730 fans. In 2009, a new record was set when the Canadian Tire Centre hosted 10,523 people for the event. That record was broken in 2015 when 10,780 basketball fans took in the action.